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Chongqing launches online court TV service

By TAN YINGZI in Chongqing | China Daily | Updated: 2024-01-11 09:51
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On Monday afternoon, Liu Xingrong in Chongqing's Tongliang district became the first plaintiff to attend a court hearing broadcast online via Chongqing Digital Smart Court TV.

She appeared, virtually, alongside two defendants who were in Jiangxi province participating in the trial via the mobile phone app Cloud Court.

"This case was the first time that the Chinese court has utilized digital TV," said Huo Dan, the judge of the case held by Tongliang District People's Court.

The two parties reached a mediated agreement in court, and the mediation letter was immediately delivered electronically, successfully resolving the dispute, Huo added.

In recent years, China has been adopting information technology in its civil judicial proceedings.

The construction of smart courts has reduced the need for travel, improved work efficiency and promoted paperless offices, according to the Supreme People's Court, China's top court.

On Feb 21, 2020, the Beijing Internet Court released the country's first protocol for online court hearings with 26 procedures, stipulating the details from online identity authentication to transcripts of hearings in a video courtroom.

Chongqing, a municipality of 32 million people, has set up about 1,000 terminals for Chongqing Digital Smart Court TV to provide convenient legal services to the public.

Liu, 56, was severely injured in a car accident on Dec 17, 2022. Failing to reach an agreement with the driver of the car or the insurance company, Liu sued the two parties for 38,000 yuan ($5,300) in compensation.

"In this case, the plaintiff and defendants had special circumstances. In order to facilitate both parties to participate in the trial, we adopted an online trial," said judge Huo.

Liu suffered fractures to eight of her ribs in the accident and still has difficulty moving. As her building has no elevator, she applied to appear in court from home. The two defendants were both in Jiangxi, over 1,000 kilometers from Chongqing, so their travel to Chongqing would have been costly.

"It was very convenient for me to attend the trial at home through the TV and to get the mediation letter right away," Liu said.

Zhang Wei, director of the information technology department of the Chongqing High People's Court, said construction started on Chongqing Digital Smart Court TV in 2022 and they have worked with multiple telecom operators to carry out technical research.

The court TV service, which is available on updated smart TVs, includes five major application scenarios in intelligent litigation services, cloud courts, publicity and disclosure. "The public can easily access the court, its announcements, typical cases, court trial videos and documents, which will effectively protect the public's right to know, participate in and supervise judicial trials," Zhang said.

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